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The discontents' repair, and men's reports
I should have known no less.-
Cæsar, I bring thee word, Menecrates and Menas, famous pirates, Make the sea serve them; which they ear 4 and wound With keels of every kind. Many hot inroads They make in Italy; the borders maritime Lack blood to think on't, and flush youth revolt. No vessel can peep forth, but ’tis as soon Taken as seen; for Pompey's name strikes more, Than could his war resisted. Cæs.
Antony, Leave thy lascivious wassals.? When thou once Wast beaten from Modena, where thou slew'st Hirtius and Pansa, consuls, at thy heel Did famine follow; whom thou fought'st against, Though daintily brought up, with patience more Than savages could suffer. Thou didst drink The stale of horses, and the gilded puddle 8 Which beasts would cough at. Thy palate then did
deign The roughest berry on the rudest hedge ; Yea, like a stag, when snow the pasture sheets,
1 That is, the malecontents.
3 The folio reads, “lashing the varying tide.” The emendation, which is well supported by Steevens, was made by Theobald. Perhaps another Messenger should be noted as entering here, with fresh news. 4 Plough.
5 i. e. turn pale. 6 Flush youth is youth ripened to manhood, youth whose blood is at the flow.
7 Wassals, or wassailes, is here put for intemperance in general.
8 All these circumstances of Antony's distress are literally taken from Plutarch.
The barks of trees thou browsed'st; on the Alps,
'Tis pity of him.
'Till which encounter, It is my business too. Farewell. Lep. Farewell, my lord. What you shall know mean
Doubt not, sir;
SCENE V. Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.
Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAs, and MARDIAN.
Cleo. Ha, ha!
1 That is, to be my bounden duty.
You think of him
Cleo. 0, 'tis treason!
Madam, I trust not so.
What's your highness' pleasure ?
Mar. Yes, gracious madam.
Mar. Not in deed, madam ; for I can do nothing
O Charmian, Where think'st thou he is now ? Stands he, or sits he? Or does he walk? or is he on his horse? O happy horse, to bear the weight of Antony! Do bravely, horse ! For wot'st thou whom thou
mov'st? The demi-Atlas of this earth, the arm And burgonet of men.--He's speaking now, Or murmuring, Where's my serpent of old Nile? For so he calls me. Now I feed myself With most delicious poison.—Think on me, That am with Phoebus' amorous pinches black, And wrinkled deep in time! Broad-fronted Cæsar,2 When thou wast here above the ground, I was A morsel for a monarch; and great Pompey Would stand, and make his eyes grow in my brow; There would he anchor his aspect, and die With looking on his life.
Enter ALEXAS. Alex.
Sovereign of Egypt, hail ! Cleo. How much unlike art thou Mark Antony !
1 A burgonet is a helmet, a head-piece. 2 “ Broad-fronted,” in allusion to Cæsar's baldness.
Yet, coming from him, that great medicine hath
Alex. Last thing he did, dear queen,
Cleo. Mine ear must pluck it thence.
Good friend, quoth he,
What, was he sad, or merry ? Alex. Like to the time o' the year, between the
extremes Of hot and cold; he was nor sad, nor merry.
Cleo. O well-divided disposition !—Note him,
Alex. Ay, madam, twenty several messengers.
Who's born that day
1 Alluding to the philosopher's stone, which, by its touch, converts base metal into gold.
2 The old copy reads "an arm-gaunt steed,” upon which conjecture has been vainly employed. Steevens adopted Monck Mason's suggestion of “ a termagant steed,” with high commendation. The epithet now admitted into the text is the happy suggestion of Mr. Boaden. The word arrogaunt, as written in old MSS., might easily be mistaken for arm-gaunt.
3 Thus the old copy; which was altered by Theobald to dumbed, without necessity.
4 i. e. in such quick succession.
When I forget to send to Antony,
O, that brave Cæsar!
The valiant Cæsar !
By your most gracious pardon
My salad days;
SCENE 1. Messina.
A Room in Pompey's House.
Enter POMPEY, MENECRATES, and Menas.
Know, worthy Pompey, That what they do delay, they not deny.
Pom. Whiles we are suitors to their throne, decays
We, ignorant of ourselves,
1 “While we are praying, the thing for which we pray is losing its value."